What used to be called "public charity" is now "entitlement programs." The difference is much more than semantics. The word "charity" carries with it the implication that the intended beneficiary is someone else. Those who paid taxes to support such programs, approvingly or not, did so in the clear understanding that they were paying to help other people; they neither expected nor desired any personal benefit from the programs. . . .
Gradually, however, the left inculcated the notion that we are all at risk, due to the nature of "capitalism" (i.e., freedom), and hence that government programs for those in need ought to be seen as a universal necessity. In other words, such programs were no longer to be viewed as something the vast majority of citizens provide for the benefit of the very few, but rather as something government ought to be providing for each of us as a primary function.As I read somewhere else today, the safety net is supposed to be a trampoline for the very few, not social flypaper for the many. I've been arguing with Grim recently about the conflation of insurance with subsidies. The distinction is critical: Insurance is appropriate for most adults, but subsidies are not. If the category of "needy citizens" expands to include a large fraction of Americans, or even (as is now becoming the norm) a majority of Americans, the category has lost its meaning and programs that address it have lost their justification for existence.
H/t Maggie's Farm.